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SD sabotages our time with her drama

PinkSharpie's picture

Hello! My first post!

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years. His 28 year old daughter lives several states away(thank God) and constantly gets him on the phone complaining about her marriage, her lack of ability to keep a job (she refuses to keep a job longer than a couple of months at a time because everything isn't "perfect", etc.) She's a TOTAL victim in EVERY aspect of her lazy life. She never takes any responsibility for anything that has happened to her. She sabotages every single situation(job, friendships, relationships) she gets herself into to make herself appear to be the victim. 

We have told her probaly 100 times "You two need counseling"(her crappy marriage is pure crap because they are both toddlers), "Life is tough. Jobs are tough. We must persevere if we want to make a living and have a nice life"(if one little thing upsets her at work, she is out of there. She simply quits.)

She refuses to help herself and refuses to do anything anyone ever advises her to do. She just prefers to be a victim and feel sorry for herself. He's somewhat of an enabler and I've been pointing out to him that he should stop coddling her so much and push her to take responsibility for all of these failed attempts at being a responsible adult. He hears me and is trying but 28 years of witnessing this disaster has him sort of numb and he seems to prefer to not ruffle her feathers with truths.

His mother passed away last summer(bless her sweet soul) and one of the things she said to us in her hospital room was "Don't let ****** come between you two.". Even SHE knew that her grandaughter was a total troublemaker and manipulator in perpetual victim mode.

I recently told him that I cannot continue letting her sabotage moments of my/our life with her constant drama that never seems to cease. Only increase. I politely asked him to help me with more allowing her to sabotage OUR time for NOTHING.

Am I being too hard on both of them?



tog redux's picture

No, not at all. I think it's fine to tell him that if he wants to keep engaging with her drama, he can - but to not tell you anything and to please not let it interfere with your lives in any significant way.  That you want no more part in it. 

He probably needs to learn to just listen and say, "Oh, that sounds rough, hope you get that sorted out," and stop trying to give solutions. 

PinkSharpie's picture

Thanks for the quick reply. And yes, he has been doing just that... "Well, what do you plan to do about it?" and "I'm sorry you're going through that right now." etc. And I have told him that I don't want to talk about her anymore. I just can't. But twice since I told him that I don't want her sabotaging my time anymore, he has taken her calls while out to dinner and while he and I were walking into the gym for a workout. The calls could have waited and of course it was just more of the same...whining and zero plans to do anything about it.

tog redux's picture

Maybe next time he wants to go to dinner, say no - since he's rude enough to take a phone call during it (it would be rude to take ANY phone call during dinner, IMO).

Aniki's picture

Or OP can drive with the knowledge that, if her H answers a call from SD, OP is leaving and H can a) pay for dinner, and b) take a taxi/Uber home.

hereiam's picture

That is the real problem, him taking those calls at anytime. One reason I hate cell phones, people have no cell phone etiquette. Just because you CAN take a call anywhere that you are, doesn't mean you should.

DH and I hardly use our cell phones and still have a landline. My SD28 does not even have his cell#. There is really nobody that I feel the need to talk to when I'm out and about.

PinkSharpie's picture

Exactly! I have got to get him to understand that not taking a call immediately from her does not equal "I don't love you and I'm too busy for you". It simply means my time is mine and I will talk to you when I have plenty of it to talk.

tog redux's picture

I love my cell phone, but rules still apply here - no taking calls unless it's an emergency. And no texting either, unless you have to in that moment. 

Missingme's picture

When he takes calls, why not go to another room or go to the bathroom at the restaurant. You'll wanna know what's going on even though her drama is stupid and you'll be worried that he'll commit to bailing out the iggit, but maybe getting away from hearing about it all and watching him be a sucker will help you keep your sanity? 

fadedbackground's picture

Oh one thing I HATED about when SD and H would be on the phone together is all this planning they would do without a word to me! I'd be in bed or in another room when she'd call him or vice-versa and I would turn down the tv or sneak to the door to hear what they would say. Almost every time they’d talk without a word about her coming here or vice-versa and at the end of the conversation he’d say to her “So do you want to come up sometime soon?” And then that would turn into “Oh when you come up you can bring your friends too” and then it would turn into a 3 day weekend of her coming up on a Friday afternoon and him not being home 9PM that night, but that was fine because I’d be there and we could hang out until he got home. Mind you, he never mentioned this to me until AFTER they made plans and then I was supposed to be perfectly fine with it because what was the big deal?!


Or the best was when she was 14 and she was visiting for the weekend and apparently she had a falling out with her mother’s bf who lived with them and then all of a sudden she wanted to live with us. Go figure! Well that was perfectly fine apparently and after I went to bed I could hear them having this conversation in the living room about how she could come up and live with us for a year and how we’ll go for a bike ride tomorrow and she can see what school she’d be going to and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t settled between them that she’d come live with us after we returned from the trip we were taking the following week! Oh yeah, and he almost had her come on vacaiton with us because she was speaking so awfully about this bf that H didn't want to send her back to their house. Yeah, I'm sure she embellished most of it! That would have been fun. A motorcycle trip down the coast just for us would then have turned into a trip down the coast in the truck with a teenager who couldn't get into bars or anything we planned on doing!  I was furious when he came to bed and I said “I heard you talking in the living room about how SD is going to come live with us”. His response was “What’s the big deal? I’ve brought it up before and you seemed cool with it”. Really???!! By me rolling my eyes and going “mm-hmmm” without another word about it, without any discussion about what it would take for her to live here, and not to mention totally reassessing how we live our lives, I was cool with it?!  Keep in mind that BM had NO IDEA this was happening and H told SD that it was up to her to tell her mom this was going to happen! Ok, BM has primary custody and you can’t just tell  SD it’s ok to live with us full time with BM having zero knowledge about it. And the fact that it was up to SD to tell her mom this was ridiculous. Well while we were on vacation SD apparently told her mom and H got an email saying how dare you go behind my back and no way is she living with you and told him that they were moving halfway across the country! Well this set into motion H getting a lawyer and an order to block her from moving out of state and then SD hated H because he was getting back at her mother and making her get a lawyer and causing them to spend money they didn’t have. Oh the drama! One of many dramas in the 10 years I’ve been here. Needless to say, I was relieved once again that SD wouldn’t be living here and didn’t want anything to do with H. I swear there must be a god looking out for me because so many times we’ve come close to her living with us, staying with us for a long period of time, or going on vacation with us and every time things work out for me in the end.

fadedbackground's picture

I can relate! My 22 y/o SD ALWAYS has drama, be it with friends, managers, teacher, relatives of friends. She's best buds with someone then says how they said something behind her back and they are banished from her life. How many times have we heard that her teacher hates her and she doesn't know why, her boyfriend's brother and his wife hate her and she doesn't know why, her manager hates her and she doesn't know why, her coworkers are mean to her and she doesn't know why. Then she proceeds to quit jobs because of it, because if they don't praise her for everything then she gets offended. Why do we never hear about the good times she has with friends? Probably becasue she's so drma filled, there are none!

PinkSharpie's picture

Oh my! Are you sure that you AREN'T me?! This sounds exactly like her. Everyone is "mean" to her yet I have literally witnessed her behaving like a total clueless dumbass to the tee in order to push peoples buttons enough to lose it on her. She LOVES victimizing herself so she can cry "Why is everyone so mean to me?".

She is a completely obsessed with things and money. She loves to shop and spend money that she doesn't have. She didn't get me or my daughter a Christmas present. Of course I got her a gift and her idiot husband but she couldn't even go to Dollar General and get an ornament or something for us. She got her dad a stupid, useless gift though. She's very jealous of my and her dad's relationship and this was just another attempt at pissing me off so she can play the victim but i'm totally on to her and refuse to play that game. I remain nice and respectful around her but in the background I am trying to retrain my fiance to see what's really going on.

fadedbackground's picture

Oh yeah, and like you, H has never received a Christmas present from SD. She'll spend all kinds of money on her newest best friend but nothing for him or me. Well I take that back, I took her shopping the day before Christmas so she could get H something. I think she was 14 at the time. She hemmed and hawed about what to get him and then decided on oven mitts, which I had to pay for! Then those oven mitts got so ratty and I went to throw them away and H was all "No, don't throw them away, those are from SD". I almost told him they are really from ME since I bought them, but he was so damn sentimental about how his daughter bought those and apparently we should put up a shrine and put them in it because he never gets anything from her! Then I always hated how he woudl go an d spend hundreds of dollars on her when I knew she didn't appreciated it.

PinkSharpie's picture

Oh dear. It sounds like she has him totally blinded. How do we get these dads to see how easily manipulated by these girls they are? Since my SD is a professional, perpetual victim, I refuse to call her out on her behavior to her face and prefer to kill her with kindness. One day though, I feel, I will have a showdown with her and our relationship will be over because I can only take this circus for so long.

Olivia2020's picture

SD20 and SD24 I've known for 5 years and not once did they ever buy him a card or gift for fathers day, birthdays, christmas, etc. They are TAKERS and very SELFISH. DH gives them the best NAME BRAND everything and has tried to give me cheap-o things and I call him out on it. Not sure what this is all about but it's difficult for me to sit and watch them open gifts and nothing for him. I've taken the younger one shopping, even this past Christmas, to get him some things (I paid for) to say gifts are from her and her sister. They brag about all the cash they get from grandparents and extended family but not $2 on a card for their dad. Wow. I almost cried a few times. 

Kes's picture

You tell an all too familiar story, ie whiny, entitled, snowflake adult step kids and enabling bio parents.   You need to have very strong boundaries so that you can manage to squeeze just a little enjoyment out of life without them spoiling it all for you. So no, you are not being too hard on them.   I would try and sit down with your DH and work out some rules around this kind of stuff - eg phone gets turned off at 9pm, DH not to over-assist to the point of enabling.  Good luck and keep posting!  

PinkSharpie's picture

Just last night I told him that she can't just expect him to stop what he's doing and have a conversation at any time. He's in the medical profession and she has called him at his office with an "emergency" to call her back. Of course there was no real emergency.

She seems to get passive agressive with him when he's seeminly too busy to put his life activities on hold for her drama talk and gets quiet on him and won't answer his call/texts.  I told him that is WRONG of her and that's HER problem if she can't understand that people have lives outside of her stupid drama. Again...if it was something that he was attempting to help her with and she was attempting to help herself, it would be different. But ALL she does is whine about how awful everyone is to her and how much she "struggles" yet does absolutely NOTHING to help these stupid situations SHE puts herself in. 

PinkSharpie's picture

I think he definitely did. It was quite a jawdropping moment for me. His mother is the epitome of a sweet, southern belle. And to hear her say that about her grandchild totally blew me away and I 100% took that advice seriously. Southern Grandmas don't BS their way through life...they keep it real.

piegirl's picture

I definitely do not think you are being too hard on either of them. If your BF doesn't tone this down it will go on and get worse! Hoping your discussions with him are fruitful.

stepmom5082's picture

I wish I had a magic answer for you. The reality is.......YOU and your HUSBAND need the counseling. Not the adult daughter. She has her own life to worry about and you need to learn how to manage yours. I speak straight from my heart to you. Please listen and listen to me closely. I met my step daughters when they were 15 and 16....and now, they are 29 and 30. Ask me what's really changed all these years??? Not them, I'll tell you that! I thought for some years there I had bonded with the youngest one. She called me mom and I gave her all my time for years, meanwhile having young children of my own. They'll suck you in if you let them. Remember the devil manipulates all the attention. The lord is patient and start with that theory! I don't want to sound harsh, but I'm exhausted!!!!! I can't even start writing about a recent college trip for my daughter and bringing my step was like going to California and bringing someone to throw shit all over the path you walked during the whole vacation.......and she's 29 now. NOTHING WILL CHANGE. THEY WILL NOT CHANGE! YOU HAVE TO CHANGE. CHANGE YOU AND YOUR HUSBANDS THINKING ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE IT ALL. Or you'll waste your life like I feel I did some of the years.......I just told him I'm done. She's a snake like her mother. She's married now and has kids and now I get to see her cheating on her husband and buying t-shirts for her boyfriend on the California vacation with my youngest daughter at her side. I said, "What do you think that does to an impressionable 18 year old???????" I forbid you to spend time with my daughter now. Now you've spilled your toxic lifestyle onto my biological children. Sorry, but that's where I draw the line and I don't look back at my decision. At all!!!!! My husband can accept it or not....I'm at that point. 14 years later where I'm completely done being nice to these toxic bitches! I'm done D O N E Done!!!!!

PinkSharpie's picture

I love your advice. I am going to say to him "*She is more than likely NEVER going to change. She refuses to keep a job or take any responsibility for her failures that she brings upon herself but WE can change how we let it effect us by simply not letting it take away any of our time anymore."

And it sounds like you have had enough yourself and good for you! We ALL need to remember that even though we gave these children life, raised them the best we could, and nudged them into adulthood, in the end, it's NOT our responsibility to live the rest of our days babysitting full grown adults. God graced us with our own lives too and we are allowed to live our own lives to the fullest and be as happy as we want to be.


fadedbackground's picture

Honestly, I think the best thing my SD did was yell at H and tell him she no longer wants anything to do with him and left the house at 2AM in an Uber. Now it's been 3 months of nothing from her and 3 months of him never bringing her up. Before that H was so determined to try and get her to move up here and kept telling her that if she did that he'd find her a place to live and he'd get her a job with him, etc. and life would do a 180 on her and she'd be destined for greatness. You know, he'd do everything for her and sshe wouldn't have to try one bit to adult at 22. Kept on telling me that she could do so much better and would tell her to come up at the drop of a hat and if she wanted to bring 4 friends, hey he was fine with that. Anything to be in her good graces. Now he says that he's not going ot try anymore and it's up to her to come around and talk to him. Well I can tell you that that is unlikely.

It took her doing that to finally drill it in his head that she's not going to change unless she wants to change and she's certainly not going to change simply by changing her geography. No more do I hear him lament about her and I am SO HAPPY!

Missingme's picture

Was he close to his mother?  If so, hopefully he paid heed to her warning.  My MIL also warned my SKs/her grands not to try and break her son and I up.  Pathetic.  I would absolutely want to get the heck out of that marriage if he's stupid and uncaring of you enough to let that itch ruin your marital peace.  Then again, what about for better or for worse?  Dr Laura Schlesinger told a woman the other day that the vow before God didn't count because the woman was on her second marriage!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

MissTexas's picture

belief that no marriage other than the first one counts. No wonder so many of us are dealing with the aftermath.

Also, the number of therapists who have any step experiance or have been trained to effectively counsel in this area are disproportionat the the divorced and remarried population.


Rags's picture

Aside from her crap about adults abandoning their own lives for their children and not having quality adult relationships following a divorce, Dr. Laura has some good stuff.


ldvilen's picture

So true MissTexas.  Well, my marriage to my DH is my first one, but it still doesn't count apparently, because HE was married before w/children.  So, I'm giving the raspberries to all of those who try to claim "only the first marriage counts."  Nope.  My first marriage is clearly thought of as sloppy seconds by many.  I've been treated just as dirty and as nasty as anyone here, simply because I married an "available" man with children.  Clearly, priors don't matter.  My marriage is still considered a lesser one, meaning, among other things, if BM or any of the SKs want to take my place by DH's side in a husband-wife type manner, they get a free pass to do so.  No permissions needed..What it does have to do with is the SM label and pure unadulterated sexism, which our society still seems to embrace in reference to SMs, in the year 2020.  Might as well be 1820 for SMs.

Rags's picture

This is so wrong and should never be the case.  A quality marriage, whether a first, a last or a dozenth should have the absolute commitment of both partners and both partners should put each other first.  If that marriage is one between a priorly wed individual and a first timer then the partner who has been wed before should be aggressively defensive of how their partner is treated by any SKids, any Xs and any family members. 

Anything less should result in that idiot losing yet another spouse.

I am a marital retread.  My experiences the first time around make me absolutely dedicated to my wife of 25+ years.  Nothing comes before my wife and our Marriage.  We raised the SKid together.  He was our top marital responsibility and we raised him to be a self supporting viable adult.  I was fortunate to become a StepDad when the Skid was young. We met when he was 15mos old and married the week before he turned 2yo. I raised him as my own.  I chose to be his dad when I asked his mom to marry me and she accepted.  Raising him as my own relieved much of the tension that can be a part of a blended family marriage. Ultimately he asked me to adopt him. We made that happen.

Neither my wife nor I considered the other sloppy seconds, my family nor hers considered our marriage anything less than what it is.  A good marriage between good people who make a life together. My IL clan did have concerns over me being divorced and 12 years older but... they never discounted our marriage.  My parents accepted my wife as their daughter from day one.

The whole sloppy second marriage thing is beyond my ability to comprehend. Either that anyone would have that thought and even more so that anyone would tolerate anyone treating their marriage or them as a sloppy second.  Total confrontation would be how I would deal with that if it were a think in my married life.